As most of you know, I follow a number of RV forums. Here is a post that caught my eye. Maybe some can learn a lesson from this tire failure post before they end up in big trouble.
Here is the post:
Well, I can assure that a tire can blow up for no apparent reason. LT275/70R18 Americus Commercial date code 3518. Truck was shaking a bit. Thought drive shaft. If any of you ever drove a bit heavy truck (I used to drive fire trucks) that sat for a long time and got a flat spot, well drive shaft or flat spot feeling.
Couldn’t see anything wrong but decided to take my clunker over to (a local NAPA store) and let them have a look. It’s about 15 miles. Missus following. Truck was shaking even worse. Missus said she saw the left front “flapping” (her words) and I queried why she didn’t call me so I could pull over and check. Anyway, I went to the tire and checked by feeling the inside and there was a definite bulge. So I decided to let that go and went in to the office and BANG! Rubber off the inside of the driver side front blew off; about a foot long x 8 inch hunk. Tire still holds air. Always kept those tires aired properly.
Bought four Cooper Discoverer A/T All-Season LT275/70R18 125S Tires. The old Americus tires no longer had my confidence. I praised the Lord I was able to make it over to the NAPA without a blowout on the road.
Michelin’s would have been my choice but they are outside what I wanted to spend. I checked Sam’s Club and the same tires were about $100 more apiece than the Coopers.
I wrote the following regarding tire failures:
Hopefully, this truck owner and some that are reading this post can gain some knowledge.
Well, there clearly was a reason for the failure, as tires are not “magic.” I do not understand what was meant by “blow up for no apparent reason.” If the owner is saying that he did not understand the different technical reasons for a tire to fail, I can understand that. But, at a minimum, people should read and try to understand the information in THIS post, as it covers the two main reasons for a tire to fail. I have posted this “Why tires fail” on at least a dozen different RV forums, but, as they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. Or, “You can lead a human to knowledge but you can’t make them think.”
When a tire fails, I strongly suggest that you should make at least a minimal effort to understand the “why.” Otherwise, the actions you take may not prevent another failure.
Think about getting in a car or truck and turning the key and the vehicle doesn’t start. Would you simply replace the battery without confirming the reason it didn’t start was because the battery didn’t have enough charge? What if you were out of gas? Would replacing the starter motor “fix” that problem? Of course not. You may not have thought about it, but you already approach “problem solving” in a logical manner.
Tire failures should be approached in the same way if you want to avoid making the same mistake over and over.
The vibration you felt was a significant hint that the tire was in the process of coming apart. Tires simply do not go from having a 100% solid construction to having the components such as the steel belts separate the next instant.
Here is a more detailed post on why tires might fail.
Here is a story of an inspection I did on a tire that was in the process of coming apart.
As you can see, there were a number of warning symptoms. Some were similar to the symptoms you experienced but failed to understand or act upon.
Luckily, you were not driving your truck with a significant load at speed when the front tire finally came apart. That could have been serious. I believe that a little self-education can be a significant help in reducing potentially serious problems if you have a tire failure.
Have a tire question? Ask Roger on his new RV Tires Forum here. It’s hosted by RVtravel.com and moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.